Koi.
Maelstrom


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jacob R. STAFF
August 30th, 2012 | 45 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A euphoric daze.

A couple of years ago, I was madly addicted to this adorable indie game on Xbox named ‘The Deep Cave.’ It wasn’t anything particularly innovative, actually a pretty blatant ripoff of the old-school RPGs that accompanied our childhood. The main draw of the game was its reverence for retro gaming culture, and the nostalgia I experienced from it because of this. Most of this stemmed from the 8-bit soundtrack, presented in a delightfully modern context. Even though its tracks initially came across as a homage to yesteryear’s gaming soundtracks, the collection of tracks understood what it took to be catchy and memorable, and how to propel an otherwise average videogame to truly great heights.

This concept of redressing our past into something varietal and dynamic today is what keeps life going after all, isn't it? That's precisely why the otherwise average game's soundtrack spoke to me, and why I was so instantly enamored with Koi.'s debut album. Maelstrom is a memento to the moments that shaped our lives, that carve otherwise forgettable days into something truly special.

Maelstrom’s an easygoing listen, about as calming as the beachfront that comprises its artwork. Chillwave has never quite been as serene or intimate as it is on the finest moments here; “Lime” finds itself in a euphoric daze, while “Gauss” is as patient as it is glossy. Most of the album prides itself on being unerringly optimistic, and whether this is accomplished through reverb-colored handclaps or carefully calculated textures the end result is as palatable as anybody could have hoped. Perhaps the only fault with Maelstrom is its indecision towards the grand finale, with “Piranha Helmet” forcing contrast with a faux-enigmatic air. “Beirut” is similarly out of place in the beginning too, but all in all it’s a track that does an acceptable job of keeping the album’s pace from being too monotonous.

The minor discrepencies in overall mood can easily be forgiven when looking at how irresistible the full-length is as a whole. It’d be a bit much to ask you to imagine Neon Indian scraping together a soundtrack for an eccentric arcade game, but it’s one of the best descriptors I can create. Just imagine that energy rush you got after those long nights in front of the TV, pining for just that goal for hours upon hours, and then the satisfying feeling that you actually got it. Maelstrom has a distinctly retro feel, but it knows its place in the current world of electronic music. It’s an incredibly easy listen, simply because it doesn’t go out if its way to be complex. There's no need to complicate an album when it's as inherently catchy as this, and perhaps that's why Maelstrom's spirit is so reminiscent of the music of our past, because at the end of the day it feels so familiar.



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user ratings (13)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Omaha
Staff Reviewer
August 30th 2012


10196 Comments


Originally posted on http://www.muzikdizcovery.com !

Stream the album here: http://collectivelanguage.bandcamp.com/album/maelstrom

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
August 30th 2012


3449 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review, this looks fantastic but I'm not sure chillwave is quite my thing.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
August 30th 2012


4424 Comments


I read your review and looked them up on your link. I've checked about half but my favourite is "Ginseng", it is so relentlessly catchy. Good review, POS'd.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
August 30th 2012


10196 Comments


Brostep - 1. I love your avatar, and 2. thanks man. I'd advise you to listen to just a track or two -
genre tags can only be so descriptive, you know? This album seems really hard to not enjoy, despite
what genres one likes best.

Paperback - thanks a lot, man! Glad you like it so much. Have you heard anything lately that you think
I'd like?

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
August 30th 2012


4424 Comments


@Omaha
I've been listening to a lot of classic stuff at the moment like The Bech Boys and King Crimson. But I'm about to upload a review on Bruce Haack's 'Electric Lucifer', which is one of the first electronica albums ever made. It's very psychedelic and eccentric. You have a very open mind when it comes to music, so I'm sure you may find it, at the very least, intriguing.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
August 30th 2012


10196 Comments


That sounds awesome, man. I'll be sure to check it out.

I've wanted to check out King Crimson for the longest time - I know I'd love them. I may have to get to that even sooner...

ZedO
August 30th 2012


1096 Comments


this seems interesting...

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
August 30th 2012


4424 Comments


@Omaha
Out of anyone, I'm fairly certain you'd like that album. King Crimson is good, I'd say start with 'In The Court', its their first and a classic. "I Talk To The Wind" is among my most favourite songs.

Anyway good work on this review, Omaha.

Rev
August 30th 2012


9422 Comments


Great job Jacob, I gotta check this out

scissorlocked
August 30th 2012


3510 Comments


good review bro

and definitely check out King Crimson - they'll redefine your sense of what's being innovative for sure

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
August 30th 2012


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Have to say, confused why Destroyer is in the RECs.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
August 30th 2012


3449 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@Omaha: 1. Haha thanks, check out reddit.com/r/shittyadviceanimals if you want more, and 2. After listening to Ginseng, it's pretty awesome. It reminds me of some chilled glitch I like. Check out Robotic Pirate Monkey's latest album (heat.wav) as a lot of the stuff is pretty similar. It's a free download, and I think their website is roboticpiratemonkey.com.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
August 30th 2012


3449 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

oh my god the beat switches in dos are incredible

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
August 31st 2012


10196 Comments


Thanks guys.

MisterTornado, perhaps it sounds silly but a lot of the chord structuring really reminds me of Kaputt.

And Brostep, I have that link bookmarked. Thanks dude! I'll let you know how I like it.

Spec
August 31st 2012


27169 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Get a bit of a BOC vibe here.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
August 31st 2012


10196 Comments


Spec, glad you liked it. I haven't heard anything by Boards of Canada - where do you say I should start?

Spec
August 31st 2012


27169 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think the best album to start on is The Campfire Headphase.

YankeeDudel
August 31st 2012


9313 Comments


Solid chillage here

Digging: Walknut - Graveforests And Their Shadows

scissorlocked
August 31st 2012


3510 Comments


nonono, no Campfire Headphase for best BoC

this would be Geoggadi or Music has the Right to Children,better start with the second one!

Rev
August 31st 2012


9422 Comments


Music Has the Right to Children, even though Geo is best



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